Asian, American, and Middle Eastern cuisines rely on cilantro “Coriandrum sativum” for display and flavor. It is utilized to add a tinge of spiciness to sour cream, salad dress, stir fry, rice, and guacamole.
The fragrant herb is also utilized in medicine to combat a broad range of medical conditions. While most cilantro derives from commercial farming, some backyard gardeners, and independent growers plant their own.
Fresh cilantro is difficult to find in food deserts, which is why it can be seen growing in small pots on windowsills.
If cilantro is bad It will either have a bad smell, the leaves will be wilted, have a slimy texture, or the color will change. You can utilize your four senses, including feel, smell, taste, and vision to find out.
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Cilantro generates a distinct, natural aroma. When the herb is healthy, it emits an earthy and a mixture of lemony and limey scents. The aroma makes cilantro an ideal garnish for crispy chicken parmesan, stuffed cheddar burgers, spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp, and roasted beef tenderloin.
Five-star cuisines utilize cilantro as a garnish and flavoring.
One of the first signs of bad cilantro is a foul odor. Some people describe the odor as rancid and pungent. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “CDC” discourages people from ingesting bad cilantro.
Doing so may result in a foodborne illness, such as E. coli and salmonella.
In the early phases of rot, cilantro leaves begin to wilt. The leaves become saggy due to a loss of moisture. All vegetables will eventually rot if they are not consumed within two weeks of harvesting.
The wilted leaves eventually transition to yellow and then brown. Wilted cilantro leaves are the first stage of rot. The medical community believes it is safe to ingest wilted cilantro.
As long as the cilantro leaves have not turned brown or generated a rancid odor, it should be safe to eat.
Most people refuse to ingest brown cilantro because they are aware of potential foodborne illnesses. Depending on the storage method, cilantro may become slimy before turning brown.
The slimy texture is a sign of rot, which is a foodborne illness risk.
It is perfectly safe to salvage some parts of the plant as long as it is not slimy. Bad cilantro can be utilized after it rots through a process known as composting.
Fresh cilantro leaves are going to be bright green. The vivid green tells you that the leaves are fresh and ready for consumption. Once the leaves begin spoiling, they’ll go through a variety of changes.
Some are more noticeable than others. For instance, there is a good chance that the leaves are going to develop a different color. As the herb spoils, the leaves will begin developing a yellow or brown hue.
If the color is light yellow, they may still be usable. However, it is pertinent to consume them soon because they’re beginning to spoil.
At this point, they will deteriorate rapidly. If they turn brown, develop mold, or emit a foul odor, it is best to throw them away.
Development Of Mold
You always have to pay close attention to the condition of your herbs. They’re not going to last forever and it is in your best interest to avoid consuming spoiled herbs. Thankfully, it is often easy to identify spoilage.
There is a chance that your spoiled herbs are going to develop mold. You’ll notice that the substance is slightly different on plant leaves. It may be powdery mildew that is white.
Alternatively, your herbs may develop sooty mold which is black. It is wise to familiarize yourself with both.
Once you’ve done that, you should have no difficulty determining when your herbs have developed mold.
If you notice mold growing on your leaves, throw them away because they’re spoiled.
Cilantro Turning Black
From time to time, it is possible to encounter cilantro leaves that have turned black. Although it could be spoilage, there might be another problem too. For instance, it could be a bacterial disease.
You might’ve purchased bad leaves. Typically, this is called a leaf spot. If you allow your cilantro to sit outside of the refrigerator for a month or longer, the leaves will likely turn black as well.
Average Shelf Life
If you’ve just harvested your cilantro leaves, you can guarantee that they’re fresh and ready to eat. However, this can change quickly. Therefore, you should figure out how long they’re going to last.
By doing this, you’ll know when you’re going to experience issues. When cilantro is properly stored in the refrigerator, it may last for a maximum of ten days.
Outside of the fridge, it is likely going to last for three to four days. You don’t have a lot of time to waste.
For the best results, place the leaves in a plastic bag and put the bag in the refrigerator. You can also use an herb saver or canning jar. Place a few inches of water in the jar before adding the herbs.
Then, you should secure the lid. Place the jar in the produce drawer in your refrigerator. Ultimately, this will extend the shelf life of your cilantro leave to some degree.
Are you concerned that your cilantro has spoiled? Once this happens, you should throw it out and buy or grow new leaves. Cilantro is highly beneficial and versatile since it can be used for medicinal purposes, used as a spice, or eaten as a food.
However, you do not want to eat spoiled cilantro since it could make you sick. The good news is that it is easy to tell when your coriander leaves have spoiled.
Once the leaves become soft, mushy, and discolored, they’ve likely spoiled. You’ll also notice that they emit a bad odor.
If this is what you’re experiencing, it is best to throw the leaves away. Typically, the shelf life is roughly one or two weeks, but it can be extended by placing the herb in a plastic bag and storing them in your refrigerator.
Even then, there is a risk that the leaves will spoil. Throw them away once they’ve gone bad.